"For years I had been a "junkie"--addicted to prescription and over the counter drugs. used oral and topical anti-inflammatory corticosteroids for 9 years to suppress my eczema/psoriasis. The steroids' side effect nearly killed me and did nothing to cure my eczema. Why elimination or suppression of the symptom is NOT the same as elimination of the disease . The side effects caused me to swell-up like a balloon and triggered terrible mood swings from deep depression to nasty outburst our rages. Functioning of vital organs such as my liver, kidneys, lungs and spleen were nearly shut down and I thought I would die." Shirley
Groups of five adult (>3 mo-old) SKH1 hairless, DBA/1 (The Jackson Laboratory, http:// ), or CD44-deficient (CD44 −/− ) mice [ 13 ] were used. HAF (%) or vehicle cream samples of g were applied twice daily for 3 d to the dorsal skin of SKH1 hairless, DBA/1, or CD44 −/− mice. Biotinylated % HAF (Carbomer, http:// ) in Liposol (Sigene, http:// ) was applied twice daily for 3 d on the back skin of SKH1 hairless mice. TPA (Sigma; % solution in acetone) was applied twice daily for 3 d to the dorsal skin of DBA/1 or CD44 −/− mice. Animals were killed 2 h after the last application. All experiments were approved by the Ethical Commission on Animal Experimentation of the University of Geneva and the Cantonal Veterinary Office of Geneva.
A key aspect of hair loss with age is the aging of the hair follicle.  Ordinarily, hair follicle renewal is maintained by the stem cells associated with each follicle. Aging of the hair follicle appears to be primed by a sustained cellular response to the DNA damage that accumulates in renewing stem cells during aging.  This damage response involves the proteolysis of type XVII collagen by neutrophil elastase in response to the DNA damage in the hair follicle stem cells. Proteolysis of collagen leads to elimination of the damaged cells and then to terminal hair follicle miniaturization.